On November 9, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) will kick-off its annual leaf vacuum collection program, which is managed by the Division of Highway Services (DHS). Collections will take about six to eight weeks to complete depending on weather conditions and how quickly the leaves fall. DHS will make two collections in each neighborhood that in the Leaf Collection District (see map). DHS has assigned each Leaf Collection Area a number to help residents track their collection dates.
MCDOT leafing crews will post yellow or green leaf collection signs in a neighborhood several days before DHS’ first anticipated leaf pick up. The signs will be posted far enough in advance to give residents a weekend to rake leaves to the edge of the road before the vacuum trucks arrive. Residents should regularly check DHS’ website as collection schedules will be regularly updated based on weather and other conditions. Crews will remove the Leaf Collection signs once they have completed a street.
The second and final collection will begin shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday. Once again, residents should look for the leaf collection signs and check online for the most accurate collection schedule.
You can help DHS collection crews by:
- Keeping leaves out of the street;
- Raking leaves to the road edge or placing leaves in paper yard waste bags;
- Removing sticks, trash or other items that cannot be collected by the vacuum trucks; and
- Keeping parked vehicles away from leaf piles to allow crews easy access.
MCDOT asks residents to avoid raking leaves into the street; instead, pile them near the edge of the property nearest the road. Leaves stored this way will not damage a lawn. Placing leaf piles in the street can cause many problems by:
- Disrupting traffic - Many neighborhoods have narrow streets and on-street parking. Leaf piles extending into the roadway limit parking and the ability of vehicles, especially school buses, to safely negotiate the streets.
- Disrupting surface drainage - Storm drains may clog when rain washes leaves into them.
- Hampering snow removal operations - Snow covered leaf piles can become extremely heavy and freeze to the roadway surface.
- Creating hazardous and very slippery conditions that could lead to accidents - When leaves get wet, they create a slick surface that makes it difficult for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists to stop, start or change direction.
Residents who believe their leaves may have been missed can contact the MC311 Call Center by dialing 311 or 240-777-0311. Watch a short video about the leafing program filmed during last year’s collection.